raw treats/ vegan

raw blackberry cashew cheesecake

I’ve recently fallen head-over-heels in awe with raw desserts. Have you been under this spell as well? I’ve been trying to rationalize my newfound excitement for unbaked treats, but I haven’t quite been able to put my finger on it… the magic is elusive. Part of my wonderment can probably be explained by the unbelievable simplicity of raw desserts (most of them, anyway). The required ingredients are often whole foods (cashews, dates, blackberries) and, even when they aren’t (coconut oil, maple syrup), they don’t take center stage. Whole foods are able to shine in the spotlight. This isn’t a dig at “processed” foods; I’m definitely not renouncing my love of flour and oil and cheese, but I am happily welcoming in this new way of approaching “sweets” with wide open arms.

Cashews are the cement of this cake; they are the perfect package of cream + sweetness. Along with a heaping cup of nuts comes a generous amount of blackberries and dates. And then a little bit of oil, and some lemon juice and vanilla extract to add complexity of flavor, and…. you’re already 3/4 of the way done. Of course a raw cake be essentially naked without a granola-esque crust of some kind (is that a common sentiment?) I love how malleable and forgiving this raw cake is; out of oats but have another grain on hand? Simply swap out one for the other. No shredded coconut in the pantry? Add more nuts or seeds or a little bit of nut butter to make up for the creamy white fat. I’m pretty spellbound by the capabilities of whole foods, and the myriad ways something as unassuming as a nut can be transformed into a beautiful, fairy-esque cake.

Makes two 4-inch cakes, or one 8-inch cake

1/3 cup rolled oats
1/3 heaped cup cashews and walnuts (or other nuts of choice)
1/3 packed cup pitted dates
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tbsp melted unrefined coconut oil
2 tsps maple syrup
Pinch of salt

1 1/4 cups soaked raw cashews
2/3 cup ripe blackberries
1/2 packed cup pitted dates
3 tbsps melted unrefined coconut oil
2 tbsps milk of choice
2 tbsps fresh lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract


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